Shame Legacy PC Review

A horror experience or a walking simulator?

By MariDead, Posted 05 Jun 2023

Shame Legacy is the newest release from developers Fairyship Games and Reverent Games being published by Destructive Creations. These indie developers have limited experience under their belts, although Fairyship’s previous game Testament: The Order of High Human was a compelling story that showed great potential for the studio. Their new game Shame Legacy is a first person survival horror adventure that focuses on stealth, chases and puzzles.

So far 2023 has proved to be an absolutely stellar year for the horror genre with Resident Evil 4 Remake and the Dead Space Remake both making waves earlier this year by being some of the most impressive steps forward for the genre as well as gaming in general. Shame Legacy had big shoes to fill to live up to what this year has had to offer so far. This may be why the marketing for the game has not been to the standard some would expect.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

The trailer for Shame Legacy is fantastic. It shows off the atmosphere of the game and presents it as an interesting addition to the list of horrors set to release this year. Unfortunately, the trailer has not been pushed very much to a wide audience. This could of course be because of the saturated market that the horror genre currently faces with Amnesia: The Bunker also being set to release later this year. 

William, the protagonist of Shame Legacy, awakes on the outskirts of a village that appears to be set in the late 1800s with no memory of who he is or why he is there. After a brief vision of a priest who seems to know William he and the player are left to explore the village while the residents slowly stalk him. As these elements of the unfamiliar surrounding are explored it becomes quickly clear that the villagers are cultists who seem set on capturing him, with this seemingly the reason they inhabit the village.

William is also being pursued by a fiery demon who will appear throughout the game to trigger a chase sequence that the player has to escape from. Towards the middle of Shame Legacy it also becomes clear that the priest from the opening of the game is, suprise suprise, also villainous and acts as another thorn in William’s side as he attempts to flee. Beyond this, Shame Legacy leaves the player very confused. Much of the story is revealed in very unusual ways and it can become unclear as to the plot the game wants to reveal as many of the main story points are uncovered in often confusing ways.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

Shame Legacy opens on a black screen with overlapping voices seemingly from William’s last before cutting to a aforementioned cutscene with the priest who talks about his “high hopes” for him. Although being a very by the numbers horror opening, it is an effective way of introducing the player to the overall tone of the game. A brief exploration period then takes place that shows the type of environments that the player will be able to explore more later in the game. While looking through this village William comes across effigies made from human bodies as well as hearing near constant screams in the distance.

Fairly quicking in Shame Legacy the player will come across a small shed with a hide prompt, demonstrating the hide and peek mechanics effectively. William then enters a clearing and can hear screams ahead of him as well as in some of the huts surrounding him. This section of the opening was fantastic at building tension. I knew I was about to be thrown into a chase and have to hide from something that would soon be chasing me. It reminded me of the first time I played Outlast and saw the lockers I was expected to hop into.

However, this tension is broken near immediately as a cutscene is forced upon the player as the fiery demon makes its debut. Rather than building on the powerful moment that had been created by exploring the tense space, Shame Legacy instead threw this away in a moment of a cheap jumpscare. This then leads to a chase sequence that doesn’t even take you back to the shed I had specifically remembered assuming I would have to make my way back there. Rather than this William has to simply shuffle between a few stacked logs and the monster apparently loses interest.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

While this isn’t the most egregious opening scene in a horror game, it is an unfortunate indication of what is to come from the remainder of the chases and stealth sections throughout the rest of Shame Legacy. 

The gameplay of Shame Legacy can be broken down into three main sections. These are stealth segments, chases and puzzles. While some aspects of each of these sections can be described as successful I would argue that the game is at its best when it is creating puzzles for the player to solve. This is, unfortunately, the element of the game that is the least linked to the horror genre, meaning as a Survival-Horror title Shame Legacy can be seen as somewhat lacking.

The stealth in Shame Legacy relies heavily on a noise mechanic that reveals how loud William is when he is crouching, walking or running. When this mechanic was first introduced I assumed the texture of the ground would also affect how loud the play is. After walking in different lengths of grass however, it seemed I was wrong and the noise just determined by crouching down. Later in the game there are also near invisible sound traps that can alert surrounding enemies to the player. These often feel unfair leading to annoyance and frustration rather than a new, exciting element to contend with. 

The pathing or the villagers' AI also feels unfinished. I was left in many situations where I was waiting for a long time for an opening to move through a section. Some of the villagers seemed out of sync with each other meaning the same escape route would be under constant watch by multiple different enemies wandering in and out of the area. Beyond this the sheds, that brought me so much joy at their potential, were often placed worthlessly. I was never in a situation throughout the game where I felt I had slipped into a shed just in time. Insead they just gave me somewhere to sit while I waited for the AI pathing to fix itself.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

It should also be noted that being spotted by one of the cultists doesn’t lead to a chase, making these hiding places an effective part of the gameplay. Instead the villagers have remarkable speed that allows them to reach William in just a few moments, and even if the player does have the chance to make it to a hiding spot, these are not available once you have been spotted.

Fairly quickly Shame Legacy seems to take pity on William, giving him a staff to defend himself. After immediately taking the offensive route I quickly realised this would not be an option and the weapon didn’t allow for a stealth attack. Instead the staff offers a second chance for the player if they are spotted, much akin to a Break Free mechanic seen in many other survival-horrors.

This staff also comes with a set of drawbacks, however, as it is a one time use. Once the staff has been used William enters a panicked state and needs to medicate in order to use it again. Given the quick recovery time of the enemies I often didn’t even bother with the QTE to use the staff, instead just accepting my death and restarting from the latest autosave point.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

The chases in the game also offer little variety, most of which just lead the player to a set piece that will force them into a cutscene that takes over. Most of these also start in a cutscene where William is set upon by a creature with little explanation. I found myself feeling annoyed rather than scared as I was railroaded onto a predetermined path that left for little deviation, rather than getting to choose my own route. Rather than putting me into a thrilling bit of gameplay I was thrown into yet another unavoidable and confusing chase.

Despite the stealth and chase elements of the game, Shame Legacy is truly in its element when putting the player into a puzzle. With the near non-existent hud the player is given very few clues of how to solve the puzzles, instead having to explore the environment, taking in every detail. The first of these puzzles traps William in a dungeon with cell doors that will not open, although these cells can be accessed in other ways as long as the player is paying close attention. I felt this puzzle did an excellent job of introducing the player to the type of difficulties they would be facing as the game progressed.

With that being said it should be noted that there are no difficulty or accessibility settings in the game. This could mean that if someone were to get stuck on a puzzle they could be trapped indefinitely as William doesn’t point out any clues to help the player at all. Although not a huge issue for some players, it does seem like somewhat of an oversight as it can limit the game’s player base if not everyone can pick it up and play it.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

Graphically Shame Legacy is nothing to write home about. While not awful there are many character models that are far from perfect and some of even the pre rendered cutscenes suffered from graphical errors. It should also be noted that the game is capped at 30 FPS on console. The realism style actually does nothing to help this and it is a shame the developers didn’t attempt a more stylised design that could have helped portray the thoughts and feelings of the character.

A more emotive art style may have also helped Shame Legacy effectively portray some of the darker themes that the characters are experiencing. This is hard for the game to show as, unfortunately, much of the voice acting is not at the calibre that would allow for these emotional beats to move the player. There are some exceptions to this, of course. Much of the background screaming is wonderfully gruesome and immersive. This really helps keep the horror themes alive in moments where they are otherwise lacking.

During puzzles I would have liked Shame Legacy to have more moments of silence to build tension as one particularly tricky puzzle had me in the room for long enough to have the soundscape loop several times. Beyond this the sound is very effective. Even the jump scare stings, that normally take me out of the moment, were very good at adding to the horror rather than feeling like a cheap shot for a scare.

Shame Legacy, PC, Review, Survial Horror, First Person Horror, Screenshot

Shame Legacy is unfortunately just that. A shame. It is a shame that a game with so much potential was only a two to three hour experience that was ultimately let down. The sound design created a lot of tension and the opening is very effective in demonstrating the potential for an amazing survival horror experience. While some of the game play is frustrating there is definitely the seeds of a great game hidden beneath.

A game with so much potential is ultimately let down by the 2-3 hours of experience with subpar gameplay. There are some interesting puzzles and tension-building sound design, but the uninspired stealth sequences, unavoidable chase events, and an ineffective AI pathing are huge disappointments. I hope that Fairyship Games and Reverent Games have the opportunity to display this potential in future games.

Mariella Deadman (@MariellaDead)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Shame Legacy


Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher(s): Destructive Creations
Developer(s): Fairyship Games, Revenant Games
Genres: Survival Horror
Themes: First-Person, Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2023-05-30

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